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Letter to Andrea Horwath
March 14, 2006 permalink
Here is a letter to Andrea Horwath on the subject of Children's Aid. This is posted with permission of the author, who has requested that the names of her own family be deleted. We have omitted her signature and changed her husband's name to husband.
Brantford Children's Aid Society
On June 22, 2005 I met with one of your intake workers, LeeAnne Wood, in my home along with my husband and children. LeeAnne came out to investigate a complaint about my baby walking down the street with a beer bottle. At that time as far as she was concerned this did not happen. She asked us a series of questions. After she was finished she left and told us she would be in touch.
On August 4, 2005 we met with the CAS again we were told they were concerned about our 'fighting' because we had told LeeAnne during the interview in our home that we occasionally argue. At that point we were informed the case would be transferred to a worker. We met the new worker, Katia Carrunza, who told us husband, needed to go to anger management; an alcohol assessment and I had to attend domestic violence counselling. We followed through with these suggestions to get your organization out of our lives. During my domestic violence counselling I was advised by the counsellor I did not need to attend this class because it was not applicable to my situation. I got the okay from Katia to discontinue this class. She advised me to take a different class which interfered with my school and was going to cost me money that I really could not afford. She then told me I had done what was asked of me and I did not need to take this class.
Husband did his anger management and also had to pay for it after he was told it would be of no cost to him. He also completed his alcohol assessment and was told he could have some counselling on this matter but, it was not necessary. In the meantime husband has quit drinking completely in fear the CAS will again use this against him.
On numerous occasions I called Katia and was unable to reach her, I would leave messages and she would not return my call. I eventually tried calling her supervisor, Trish Johnson, who told me I would have to discuss these matters with Katia. Trish gave me a time when Katia was expected to be in the office but despite my continuous phone calls I was not able to reach her nor did she return my phone calls. I often left detailed messages about when I would be home or if she could reach me at my mothers and I found she would call my home at a time when I told her I would not be there. In my opinion she was calling my home and leaving a message to avoid talking to me personally.
On October 14, 2005 I received a phone call from Katia around 4:00 in the afternoon, she advised me to stay away from my biological father (who I have no relationship with at all, nor had I seen in years.) She continued to tell me not to look for him, and to keep the children away from him, she even went to the point to tell me to lock my doors. (This led me to believe he had made a direct threat toward me and my family.) If I did not abide by this the agency would have reason to apprehend the children. I tried to get more information from her. She told me I could meet with her in her office on Monday, October 17, 2005, in the meantime I had no idea what was going on or what to think. I was terrified. This was unnecessary information to be passed on to me and especially without any detail as to why the call was placed to me in the first place considering I had no contact with this particular individual.
During the week of November 7, 2005 I believe it was Tuesday November 8th husband and I had an appointment with Katia in our home to close our case. That afternoon around 2:00 I received a phone call on Katia's behalf stating the meeting would have to be cancelled that an emergency had arose. For the remainder of that week I had called Katia everyday to reschedule and consistently got her answering machine which stated "Today is Thursday November 3rd I will be in and out of the office today, tomorrow Friday November 4th, I will not be in the office...." I continued to call during the week of the 14th and was still unable to reach Katia.
At 10:30 am on Thursday February 23 I received a message from Katia to call her back. On the 24th I called Katia at 2:00 I left a message on her machine, her message stated "Today is Wed. Feb. 22, I will be out of the office....". I called again on Monday February 27 at 9:10 am and left a message, called again at 11am, and 1:30pm and left a message both times. On Feb.28 I called the office and asked for Katia's supervisor, I was directed to a Dorothy Shween. I left her a detailed message about all the times I tried to contact Katia and asked her to return my call. I called Dorothy again on March 1, when I spoke to her she informed me she was the secretary for that particular division of CAS and there was no supervisor the workers report to a temporary supervisor that changes on a daily basis. She also advised me I could reach Katia right after lunch. I called Katia right after lunch and actually spoke to her, she told me she had not received any reports from the classes we had attended. She told me as soon as she receives all of this information she can close our file because she has not heard of any problems in the past 8 months. I called Nova Vita and spoke to the counsellor of the class I had taken there who informed me she had faxed the letter to Katia On October 25,2005. She asked my permission to call and talk to Katia about the letter. The counsellor called me back to say Katia had received the letter in October. My husband called the lady he was dealing with for the alcohol assessment who agreed to resend the assessment. This is now March 13 and once again I have not heard anything from Katia.
Source: email from author